With the summer in full swing and Halloween just around the corner, we’re halfway through 2019 and there’s been plenty going on out there in the world of retail – both good and bad. Shirlee Gibbs, owner of The Dressing Up Shop in Aldershot shares her opinion on the true state of Britain’s high streets in 2019.
“We have had a very mixed first six months this year, January was up but February would have been a disaster if we hadn’t had one very large booking. March improved, thanks to World Book Day, although many people were not spending on full outfits, luckily we had lots of accessories! April, May and June have been busier, so that’s been a relief.
The most popular themes have been 80s/90s and we have catered for three wild west nights and two Steam Punk weddings. Costumes for the Greatest Showman are also in high demand and LGBT products and festival wear have been popular too – the weather has played a big part in that I’m sure.
Over the last 34 years, both Bristol Novelty and Smiffys have been invaluable to the success of my business. The roadshows and Angels open days help us connect with Bristol Novelty, while Smiffys’ reps visit and offer great incentives and advice. Business is not easy for them either as they have to work out what we will buy before we commit to it!
Despite the issues with online and eBay sales, I am always the optimist and look forward to a good future. Although the high street is changing rapidly, shops like mine are still needed. Our hire side is much more eco-friendly and people are definitely realizing the benefits of quality and value for money. I can only wonder what the future will hold, but when people come in with a scowl and leave with a smile, my job is done!”